I've been on the quest for a good yellow cake for a long time. Oh yes, there are tons of recipes out there, but I wanted one with good taste and texture, light and moist, tender and delicious. It's not as easy as it seems. Other cakes get their flavor from different ingredients, such as spices, applesauce, carrots, chocolate and more, but yellow cake has to hold its own relying on achieving great taste with just butter, eggs and vanilla.
This quest was not as easy as you would think. How many eggs, what type of flour, was the vanilla extract used important. What would make it "pop" on its own merit? Several of the things I found out along the way:
Don't cheat on ingredients!
- Use organic unsalted butter (preferably from a local dairy)
- Use farm fresh eggs from a local farm where the chickens are allowed to eat grasses and scratch in the dirt ... why, because the yolks are rich and creamy and a deep yellow/orange
- Buy the best vanilla extract you can afford
- Use full fat whole milk (no sense in cheating on fat now)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups cake flour, plus more for flouring the pan
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbls. vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole milk
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans or one 13 x 9-inch pan (or spray with baking spray).
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
In an electric mixer, mix the butter and granulated sugar on high speed until fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for a few more seconds.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk in 3 batches, mixing for a few seconds after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix 1 final time.
Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake until done (a wooden skewer inserted in the cake should come out completely clean), 28 to 30 minutes, or 40 minutes for 13 x 9-inch pan.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out to cool completely.
For the chocolate buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Using a mixer, cream butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting. (double for layer cake)
(original recipe from The Pioneer Woman)
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